Belfast Telegraph

World goes green for Saint Patrick's Day as revellers ignore cold to celebrate

By Staff Reporter

Millions of people took to the streets around the world to celebrate St Patrick's Day - although it was one of the coldest in Ireland for many years.

In Belfast the city's streets were awash with colour as the parade of sporting and cultural societies, community and voluntary associations, youth, church, and parent groups, and individual performers made its way through the city centre.

Events included a carnival parade and a free concert at Custom House Square.

Headlining this year's concert was former JLS star Aston Merrygold.

Other fun-packed parades took place in Londonderry, Newry, Armagh, Strabane and Downpatrick, while around the world landmarks were bathed in green light in honour of Ireland's patron saint.

In Derry the city welcomed the spring with open arms in a cacophony of colour and spectacle with a St Patrick's Day Spring Carnival Parade full of dancing daffodils, busy bees and slithering snakes.

The city also hosted the LegenDerry food festival, a free two-day family event that forms a part of the St Patrick's weekend celebrations

In Armagh and Down, The Home of St Patrick Festival brought together events across the two counties in an unrivalled mix of regional and international music, theatre, spoken word, art and comedy, showcasing the stunning locations where Saint Patrick is believed to have walked and worked.

In Cultra, the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum offered a traditional St Patrick's day celebration of a kind enjoyed decades ago, while in Omagh, Co Tyrone the theme of year's St Patrick's Day celebration was 'The Emigrants Farewell', an event which commemorates the thousands of people who left Ireland during the 18th and 19th centuries in the search of a better life in America.

In Broughshane, hardy revellers celebrated the saint's festival Patrick's Day by climbing the slopes of historic Slemish Mountain, where Patrick was believed to have tended his flock.

In Northern Ireland's lakeland, the St Patrick's Day Parade and Fun Day returned in style to the county town of Enniskillen for its eighth year.

Headlining the parade this year was a spectacular entry featuring moving inflatables.

As snow fell on Dublin, Irish actor Liam Cunningham, famous for his role as Davos Seaworth in television series Game Of Thrones, led the 2,000-strong parade.

Star Wars actor Mark Hamill was its first international guest of honour.

In New York Taoiseach Leo Varadkar walked alongside partner Matt Barrett in the city's St Patrick's Day parade, which up until recently had banned LGBT groups from marching.

In London the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge braved snowy conditions to celebrate St Patrick's Day by attending a parade of the Irish Guards.

The couple are expecting their third child later this year.

William, who is Colonel of the Irish Guards, and heavily pregnant Kate visited the 1st Battalion at its base in Hounslow, west London.

They watched 350 soldiers arrive on the Parade Square, where the expectant royal presented shamrocks to officers and warrant officers.

The regiment's magnificent Irish wolfhound Domhnall led the procession as mascot.

The regiment gave a march-past, with William taking the salute.

William and Kate later attended the Guardsman's lunch, where the longest-serving guardsman proposed a toast to the royals and thanked the duchess for presenting the shamrock.

Belfast Telegraph

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